Fake News and Dollar Bills

The media within the United States has controlled the political realm dating back to our Founding Fathers. However, since the 2016 presidential election race, the influence of media in politics has become far too polarizing. In 2016, huge scandals on both sides of the race created tremendous opportunity for media outlets to generate revenue through eye-popping headlines and twisted stories.

The main political media sources have put their financial ambitions in front of what is best for the American people. Instead of publishing unbiased stories or representing both sides of the political news, the outlets publish big, controversial headlines and extreme viewpoints because they make more money. Greed has distorted politics in America, moving us away from moderates and toward the extremes of both the right and left.

A particular example of this media distortion is how left-leaning media sources like CNN have labeled the Republican Party and our President as “fascist.” This label is blatantly incorrect and morally wrong because of the implications of the term –– it categorizes Trump with figures like Hitler. The president’s policies don’t take away the country’s right to free elections, free speech, and a free market. 

The term “fascist” has been used by the left to debilitate conservative politicians since the end of World War II. It seems that liberal media like CNN and MSNBC will go to any lengths to create a headline or insult the Republican party as well as media sources that oppose them.

 Unfortunately, this childish behavior isn’t a one-sided affair. Fox News often instigates or retaliates at the comments made by its opposition. For example, Tucker Carlson, one of the station’s most televised figures, has contributed to the partisan divide by calling House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D) mentally ill. It is obvious that both sides are crossing many lines in their headlines, stories, and the people they choose to televise.

This extreme political divide is also quite apparent on the Circle. Groton is typically a very left-leaning school, but that shouldn’t prevent centrists and Republicans from voicing their opinions. As Trey Whitehead ’21 noted, “People at Groton are not being viewed for their ideas but rather for the labels that society puts on them, which is really a shame.” 

This toxic culture around politics on campus and in the United States stems from the media as well. Eliza Powers ’20, who identifies as “very liberal,” commented that “the extreme in the media on both sides have played a role in the tension between parties in our country and on campus because of a lack of middle ground.” 

It is clear that we don’t have enough moderates in the media and on campus, making choosing a side or talking about politics very difficult. Like the media, members of the Groton community often attack people rather than ideas so that many multifaceted political battles turn into dogfights. 

If the media keeps dividing the left and right in America, they will cause more instability in a country so important to preventing worldwide conflict. Without disseminating proper information to a populus that has great control over its choice of leaders, we could find ourselves facing major global issues. 

So when reading CNN or Fox News, keep in mind the reliability of the article and ask yourself: Does it show both viewpoints?  What diction is used? If every American were conscious of this when reading or watching politics, the country would not be nearly as divided as it is now.